Released as an advance online publication in the “Breast Cancer Research and Treatment” journal, the work can help, not only in the early detection and treatment of the disease, but also gives a better understanding of the mechanisms behind it.
DNA repair genes, as the name indicates, repair damaged DNA in a process crucial for cancer prevention. In fact, all over the body genetic mutations are constantly occurring and being fixed through several DNA repair mechanisms and so avoid the accumulation of harmful mutations that can ultimately lead to cancer. As consequence it has been suggested that problems in the body’s DNA repair mechanisms/genes can facilitate the development of cancer.
Following this idea, Sandra Costa, Fernando Schmitt and colleagues in Portugal and Spain, decided to test if it was possible to correlate different forms of four major DNA repair genes existent in the human population to different susceptibilities to breast cancer. In fact, different individuals can present small differences in the DNA sequence of a gene, as it happens, for example, with the gene for eye colour where the variations give origin to the different colours. These different DNA sequences appear as result of mutations and are called genetic polymorphisms.
For this study Costa, Schmitt and colleagues analysed 285 breast cancer patients and 442 healthy controls looking at several genetic polymorphisms in four major DNA repair genes - XRCC1, XPD, RAD51 and XRCC3 - and their relationship with breast cancer incidence.
It was found that women carrying the genetic polymorphism XRCC1 399Gln and who had no family history of breast cancer, had not only less disease than healthy controls, but it was also found that disease, when it occurred, started later in life. This result suggested that XRCC1 399Gln had a protective effect against breast cancer.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, a genetic polymorphism in the XRCC3 gene - XRCC3 241Met - increased susceptibility to the disease and accelerated disease onset. Again this was only observed in women without a family history of breast cancer.
Finally, the team of researchers found that the polymorphism RAD51 135C increased the risk of breast cancer, this time in the group of women that belonged to families with previous cases of the disease. Variations in the fourth gene studied – XPD – did not show any effect in the incidence of breast cancer at least among the groups and the polymorphisms analysed in this work
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women. According to the World Health Organization every year more than 1 million of people will be diagnosed worldwide with the disease, while 1 in 8 women will develop it during their lifetime. Nevertheless, nowadays, a diagnostic of breast cancer has a relatively good prognosis much due to the development of disease awareness and frequent screenings among women - especially those belonging to higher risk groups - allowing earlier detection (and treatment) of the disease
The work by Costa, Schmitt and colleagues, by suggesting that XRCC1 Arg399Gln, XRCC3 Thr241Met and RAD51 G135C can be used as markers for different cancer susceptibilities, helps not only to elucidate the mechanisms behind disease, but can be also crucial in the early identification of those high risk cases. These are interesting results for breast cancer, which by being the result of a complex interaction of inherited as well as environmental factors is still far from being understood and/or controlled.Piece researched and written by: Catarina Amorim
Catarina Amorim | alfa
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy